Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Guilty of Bigotry

Yesterday, Jack and I went to the Fort Worth Zoo.

It's a fairly nice zoo, but I always feel a bit sad going there because it's not an Australian Zoo.

Okay, here's the thing. At this point, I care only about Australian animals. (Well, besides the family dogs/cats and the lovely creatures that live in our backyard).

When we went to the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, I complained to my husband about all the African and Asian animals. I told him I didn't get it. We're in Australia. We should be seeing Australian animals. Why do I want to see a damn giraffe?

Tim calmly reminded me that the Australians who LIVE in Australia might be interested in seeing non-Australian animals.

Oh! Yeah. Right. Forgot about those people. Oops.

So, give them their Taronga Zoo.

I preferred Sydney Wildlife World. All Australian. All the time. Like how MTV used to be for music videos. (what exactly happened with that?)

Okay. Back to the Fort Worth Zoo. They have no recycling bins and there is rarely a keeper around to talk to visitors. In my opinion, there's something very unfriendly and impersonal about that place. BUT.....I will say they have a fairly okay collection of Aussie animals.

They have kangaroos, Wallabies, Great Barrier Reef fish, a Wollogong shark, a kookaburra, some reptiles, and.....


Okay, compared to Australia, Fort Worth does not have many cool things. But it does have a few. And one of them is Parrot Paradise. Here you go in this large enclosure with a little food stick in your hand. Parakeets and Cockateils give you lots of love and attention.

The last time we went was before our 2007 Australia trip. Let's just say I was very much loved by the cockatiels that day. They were all over me. And I swear. It wasn't just about the food. Even when the food was gone, they still clung to me.

I felt so loved and then I got home and found out they were Australian. I was THRILLED. I thought it was some kind of nature/spiritual message.

So, today I hoped to repeat the experience.

Jack and I entered the enclosure with the food stick in our hand. Immediately, cute little Parakeets landed on the stick.

I didn't care. I was completely distracted. I couldn't see any cockatiels. Where were they? Where were my Australian birds?

It's like when you're a teenager and you go to that dance. It should be fun, but it's not because the guy you have a crush on is not there.....

Totally like that.

Finally, I spotted the cockatiels. With relief and anticipation, I dragged Jack over to the corner.

They hung out in this little corner as if they were in some kind of clique. Okay and they gave me absolutely no attention.

I felt so rejected.

What happened to the love we once shared?

After a few minutes, I gave up and watched the little Parakeets land on my food stick. Then we walked around the enclosure. We came to a sign and I read about Parakeets--suddenly wondering where they were from.

And guess what I found out.


The little Parakeets that I had dissed earlier were just as Australian as the cockatiels.

I never knew that.

We then left Parrot Paradise and headed towards "Texas Wild". Not a bad place, but I'd love it more if it was "Australian Wild."

Actually, Jack seemed to wish this more than me. He is all into McLeod's Daughters and pretended the zoo was South Australia and that we were heading towards Drover's Run instead of "Texas Wild".

And when we got to the exhibit that has the alligator, he pretended it was a crocodile. No, crocodiles aren't from South Australia. Hey, but the kid's only six-years-old. Give him a break.


  1. LOL
    Love your blog!
    Thanks for dropping in on my blog :)
    Those parakeets look like what we call budgies aka budgerigars.
    Not to be confused with "budgie smugglers"...that's a nickname for Speedos ;)

  2. Budgie smugglers. That's a great one!!

    It reminds me of that episode of Friends. There was some nickname for a Speedo. Banana Hammock, I think?

    I think in UK they call them budgies too. And that's where my brain was missing. I think that's where I imagined them being from.

    Or I don't know. Maybe not from the UK, but I associate them with the UK. I guess I never imagined where they originated... I probably see them as just pets. Like I don't really think about what country dogs originated or cats.

    So, are there wild parakeets/budgies still in Australia??

    P.S-totally love your blog.

  3. Yep, there's still heaps in the wild but the drought is taking it's toll on them.
    The wild birds are coming in to the suburbs for food and water; we often have Rainbow Lorikeets,Cockatoos and Red Rumped Grass Parrots dropping by to strip the fruit trees lol.

  4. Hello Dina, Thanks for your message on my blog!!! I am still learning the ropes of blogging!!! I adore Australia - I backpacked out there, flew out alone and made lots of friends. It's so different to UK. There is so much out there ... I horse rode with cattle in the outback and sang the blues with the rodeo boys ...how cool is that!!! Will you go back? My boyfriend wants to go ... so fingers crossed!!! I have written a book - just light hearted and informal called Backpacking Oz. Had it proof read and got a good feedback but am editing ... writing it is like being back in Oz! Hopefully will get it published. Did you get to Old Sydney Town near Gosford? And would you like to exchange links? I've no idea how to traffic and am a tech dunce, haha!!! Lesley

  5. The Writer: That's awesome that you wrote a book! I would love to read it.
    Are you going to include the postcards in the book?

    We never did Old Sydney Town. Didn't you say in your blog that it closed down??? I wish it didn't!!

    We're going back this February. I'm so excited!!!!!

    We should definitely exchange links. I wrote a post I'm going to put up that highlights all the Aussie blogs I've been looking at. You're on it of course!!! And then later, I'll probably add to my blog roll or make a new one for blogs about Australia.

  6. Hi Dina, thanks for visiting.

    I love your blog too.

    Do you know why?

    Because you speak from the heart.

    That is what I feel anyway.

    I feel an openness from you which is contagious. Thank you.

    And by the way, let us know when you come to Aussie.

    I live in the blue mountains west of sydney - see my July 24 '08 post for some sunrise photos from about two hundred feet from my door, and feb9th this year for some of Tasmania, also nov 27 2007 for some right near my house.

  7. Tex:


    I will definitely check out the photos.

    We went to Blue Mountains. A day tour thing. It was a lot of fun, but the weather was wet and foggy. So now I have this cool, yet eerie feeling about the place.

    I want to go back someday. Maybe this upcoming trip or a future one.

    I loved the story of the Three Sisters.

  8. I used to have a parakeet. I didn't know they were from Australia!

  9. Jamie,

    If someone ever asked me where a Parakeet was from, I'd probably answer..."The petstore?"

  10. Mom,

    Edit And Add A 7 Please!